Monday, November 5, 2012

Upgrade Your Career As A Social Worker

Child eating disorders has been on the rise for the past 20 years and continue to grow. While children are introduced to the media's portrayal of the perfect stick thin woman and thin muscular man, the images become engrained in their heads as what they're "supposedto" look like. Without the proper education available to today's youth, child eating disorders will continue to rise.

Refusal to eat and denial of hunger

This is possibly the easiest sign to recognize when it comes to eating disorders. For any age group, refusing to eat is a dangerous behavior that can seriously harm you. If you notice your child refusing food, it's a good reason to be concerned. Try to talk to your child and find out why they don't want to eat. In some cases, it could be a dietary issue, but in most, it can link to an eating disorder. If you've noticed a consistent denial of hunger, you should seek help for your child.

Excessive exercise

Exercise is a healthy habit to engage in that is encouraged for anyone at any age. Exercise can keep you in shape and helps to keep your overall health in order. However, in the case of eating disorders, excessive exercise is the sign that's not as obvious because it's associated with a healthy lifestyle. When a child is excessively exercising, it can take a serious toll on their body and their mental stability. Keep track of your child's exercise habits and make sure it's a healthy balance and not an excessive obsession.


Having a moody child is not uncommon, especially if they're in their teenage years. It's when moody turns into irritable, and it takes over your child's personality. Irritability can be caused by a plethora of things, but when a child is not eating and is starving themselves to lose weight, irritability is very common.

Social withdrawl

Have you noticed your child not being as social as they once were? This is another common sign of an eating disorder. Withdrawing from the social scene is a way for a child to focus on their self as opposed to their peers. It also gives them an escape from explaining why they're not eating or starting to look different. If your child has no desire to spend time with friends and prefers to lock themselves in their rooms, monitor the behavior and take action if it continues.

Lack of emotion

Lack of emotion and irritability are two very different characteristics but are both associated with eating disorders. Not showing any emotion is a red flag with a child that something is wrong. If your child is consistently lacking emotion and any sense of engagement in what's happening around them, it's reason for concern.
The symptoms above are only some of the many signs that your child might have an eating disorder. By paying attention to your child's appearance, their appetite, their desire to eat, social life and mood, you will have a better grasp on whether or not there have been changes with them at any point. All of these symptoms can help you prevent your child from developing a serious disorder and harming themselves, so pay attention. Your child will thank you one day.
Alaina Mason is a freelance writer and health advocate. As a social worker, she has worked with many children suffering with eating disorders. She has done a great deal of research on how getting a social work online degree can help her patients and expand her knowledge of the field.